Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs PreSonus StudioLive AR8c: An In-depth Mixer Comparison Guide for Buyers (2024)

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX and the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

You know how the saying goes, buy right, buy once! Or something like that…

Either way, I've got you covered!

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.

Let get into it…

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs PreSonus StudioLive AR8c: An In-depth Mixer Comparison Guide for Buyers (2024)

At A Glance:

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX


Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Well built.
    • Sounds good.
    • Solid preamps and EQ.
    • Has 4 track USB out for multitracking.
    • Preamps are clean and not disappointing in terms of sound quality/noise.
    • Low noise floor even with preamp turned all the way up.
    • USB output is not low if the M1 M2 L R USB routing option button is pressed down and main mix fader level is raised higher than 0.
    • Easy setup with Windows 10 Professional without needing to click on anything.
    • No issues encountered when used in a game and to record to Audacity, and to output to recorders.
    • Preamps are cleaner than any other device listed in the review.
  • Cons:
    • No per-track mute button.
    • No per-track faders.
    • Advanced routing is complicated and lacking.
    • Main outs are XLR but there are no TRS main outs.
    • Monitor outs are RCA.
    • Odd form factor with a lot of wasted space around the edges and the entire board crammed into the middle, making the knobs very close together.
    • Onboard FX are not good.
    • Soundcraft Notepad 12FX is a good bit cheaper and also does 4 track.


PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

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PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Has great features like SD recording and Bluetooth.
    • Comes with free multi-track software.
    • Has nice inputs and outputs.
    • Good for recording and live sound.
    • Software (Ampire) has lots of digital patches for guitar effects.
  • Cons:
    • Significantly more expensive than other mixers.
    • Microphone preamps don't seem to have a lot of gain.
    • SD card lacks display for recording information.
    • No unbalanced output.
    • Unreliable components in the hardware.
    • Tech support is not helpful.
    • Requires a $250 bench fee for product check.
    • Product lifespan is short.
    • Software only works after extensive tech support.
    • Difficult to contact customer support.
    • Only automated responses to emails, no human contact.
    • Long processing time for product repair or replacement.

Key Differences Between The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX And The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

The main differences between Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX and PreSonus StudioLive AR8c are largely attributed to their design, functionality, and price points.

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX mixer, aimed primarily at musicians, podcasters and home recording studios, is noted for its affordability.

Its four mic preamps and 4×4 USB interface make it a reliable tool for recording performances or podcasts.

Key to its capability is the combination of an analog mixer with a high-quality 4 x 4 USB interface that can record and playback 24-bit/96kHz audio when connected to your computer or iOS device.

In contrast, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c stands out for its compact design offering excellent build quality at great value.

This hybrid digital/analog mixer's user-friendly design simplifies mixing and recording tasks.

Unique to this 8-channel analog mixer are features like an onboard SD recorder for playing stereo audio or from a USB-connected Mac or Windows PC.

Moreover, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c includes a USB Type-C plug-in and effects send features.

It's versatile enough to be used as both a mixer and USB interface for recording podcasts or streaming on YouTube.

For those needing extra features like onboard FX or external FX send functions, PreSonus might be more suitable.

When comparing prices:

  • The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Mixer is priced at around $399.99.
  • The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Hybrid Mixer comes in slightly higher at about $499.99.

Both mixers have received positive reviews across various platforms indicating that either choice would be worthwhile but your final decision should consider any specific needs and budget constraints.

Additionally, checking out online reviews based on user experience before making a purchase decision would provide more detailed pros and cons of each product.

Specifications Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX PreSonus StudioLive AR8c
Audio Quality High-level audio quality as A&H’s large format touring consoles 24-bit/96 kHz audio recording
Build Quality High build quality with separate internal channel boards, Neutrik connectors and every pot fixed to the chassis 8-channel analog mixer with 4 balanced mic inputs with XMAX mic preamps
Microphone Preamps GS-Pre XLR microphone preamps XMAX mic preamps
High Impedance Sources Two HiZ connections for direct connection of high impedance sources 2 instrument/line inputs
Filter and EQ 100Hz High Pass Filter and 3-band MusiQ EQ Stereo effects processor with 16 presets, dedicated send and return
FX Unit Built-in, studio quality multi-FX unit with 61 different, tweakable FX types Stereo effects processor with 16 presets
USB Interface High quality, 96kHz 4×4 USB interface 8×4 24-bit/96 kHz, USB 2.0 (over USB-C connection) audio recording interface
Inputs 4 x Mic/Line Inputs, 2 x Stereo ( 2 Left, 2 Right), 2 USB Audio 4 balanced mic inputs, 2 instrument/line inputs, 2 pairs of stereo balanced line inputs, Stereo Super Channel with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless, RCA inputs, 1/8-inch stereo input, switchable SD/USB stereo playback
Recording Software None specified Includes Capture live-recording software and Studio One Artist DAW for Mac and Windows
Phantom Power Not specified Global +48V phantom power

What You Need To Know About Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a top-notch compact mixer that brings the audio quality and build strength of a large touring console to your own personal studio.

This gadget comes with separate internal channel boards, long-lasting Neutrik connectors, and every knob is securely affixed to the chassis.

One of the standout features of the ZEDi-10FX is its GS-Pre XLR microphone preamps, which are developed from those used in the highly acclaimed GS-R24 studio console.

These deliver low noise, high headroom, and plenty of clean gain. This results in a warm sound that maximizes any microphone's potential.

The mixer also includes two HiZ connections for direct connection of high impedance sources such as electric guitars or clip-on pickups for acoustic instruments.

Thanks to a 100Hz High Pass Filter on every mono input, you can easily remove unneeded low frequencies.

You can then use the 3-band MusiQ EQ to sculpt your sound using carefully selected frequencies, without worrying about making a mistake.

The built-in multi-FX unit provides 61 tweakable FX types including reverbs, delays and modulation with tap tempo synchronization.

These effects are not just average – they're based on algorithms developed by A&H’s own DSP experts and derive from those found in flagship digital consoles.

Moreover, this compact mixer has an integrated 96kHz 4×4 USB interface which allows easy capturing or streaming of whole mix or individual channels.

It doesn't require drivers and can even connect with many mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones.

Finally, it has enough inputs (4 x Mic/Line Inputs, 2 x Stereo (2 Left, 2 Right), 2 USB Audio) to cater to various needs during recording sessions.

For more details about this product visit: Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX.

My 1 Month Review Of The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Right out of the box, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX grabbed my attention. The device is a bit weighty, which hints at its solid construction.

First thing you notice is this console isn't going to slide around on your table while you're in the middle of a jam session.

Build and Quality

After a month with this mixer, it has proven to be resilient and sturdy. The knobs have smooth action with just the right amount of resistance – they don't feel loose or cheap.

That adds up to clear indications of quality, durability, and that renowned Allen & Heath craftsmanship.

• Robust build

• Quality knobs and sliders

• Hinted at impressive longevity

Sound Capabilities

The sound capabilities did not disappoint either.

This little powerhouse delivered punchy basslines, crisp highs and balanced mids that haven't shown signs of strain or distortion even after hours-long sessions.

• Dynamic range

• Balanced sound reproduction

User Experience

Learning to harness the full potential of this mixer was quite straightforward.

It's user-friendly design had me mastering its features within days – something I can appreciate as someone who wants plug-and-play capability without needing a deep dive into an extensive manual.

• Easy to learn

• User-friendly design


One feature that stood out for me was the built-in FX suite.

It's perfect for adding some flair to live performances or when recording tracks directly into your DAW via USB interface—a real game-changer for my home studio setup.

• In-built FX Suite

• Direct recording functionality via USB interface

Slight Downside

Now I'm not one to shy from honesty— as much as I love this console, it does have one minor drawback.

The power supply cable seems unusually short which can be slightly restrictive depending on your workstation setup.

Overall, after a month spent with the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX, it's turned out to be a reliable workhorse— excellent build quality matched by top-notch sound performance makes it worth every penny.

What You Need To Know About PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is an impressive audio recording interface that creates sounds clear as crystal.

It offers 8×4, 24-bit/96 kHz, USB 2.0 over a USB-C connection. This means you can record every channel plus the main mix for total control over your sound.

It features a 2×2 SD recorder that lets you record the main mix on SD or SDHC formats up to 32 GB. That's a lot of room for all your songs and performances!

Want more? The StudioLive AR8c also comes with an 8-channel analog mixer. It has four balanced mic inputs with top-notch XMAX mic preamps for capturing vocals at their best.

Need to plug in your instruments? No problem! There are two line/instrument inputs, plus two pairs of stereo balanced line inputs for all your gear.

And there's more! The StudioLive AR8c also includes a Stereo Super Channel with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology. Plus it has RCA inputs, and even a small but mighty 1/8-inch stereo input.

Want to switch between SD/USB stereo playback? Easy as pie!

There's also a great stereo effects processor with sweet presets, along with a special send and return spot and bypass footswitch jack.

What about software? You got it! The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c comes loaded up with Capture live-recording software and the fantastic Studio One Artist DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for Mac and Windows systems.

Last but not least, this amazing interface gives you global +48V phantom power to keep things running smoothly.

My 1 Month Review Of The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

First Impressions

After a month of testing the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, here are my thoughts. Immediately, I was struck by the compact, yet sturdy design of the unit.

It seemed to be built for both durability and portability, which I appreciated as someone who is constantly on the go.


The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c impressed me with its straightforward interface. The controls were intuitively placed and easy to use, even in low-light environments.

And let me tell you – this thing is packed with features but still manages to keep things simple! As a ‘non-techie' person, I found it quite accessible.

• Robust EQ controls

• Multiple connectivity options (Bluetooth, SD card etc.)

• Built-in effects that actually sound good

The Sound Quality

What really makes this mixer stand out for me is its excellent sound quality. The preamps were impressively clean and there wasn’t any noticeable noise when cranking up the gain.

For all those audiophiles out there: you have got to hear it to believe it!

Digital Capabilities

I loved how easy it was to record into my DAW straight from this mixer. Hello convenient home studio capabilities!

The built-in USB-C interface worked without a hitch and let me record multi-track sessions directly into my computer.

Rounding It Up

There are many things that impressed me about the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c but if I had to sum up – superb sound quality combined with an intuitive user-interface make this one hell of a mixer for anyone needing professional-quality results while maintaining ease-of-use.

If there's anything I'd change – perhaps adding more onboard effects would be nice. But honestly, at its price point and given its performance so far –I am absolutely happy.

In all honesty? Given another month or two… I might become super attached to this little audio powerhouse.

Who The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

Who is the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX for?

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a product designed for individuals who are keen on sound quality and sturdiness in their gear.

If you're new to mixers, this device might appeal to you given its well-built nature and impressive sound output.

Why would someone buy the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX?

There are several potential reasons why someone might choose to purchase the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX mixer. Let's take a look at some of the key elements that make this mixer stand out.

Quality Preamps:

This mixer boasts clean preamps – an element that immediately sets it apart from competitors.

If you're tired of dealing with disappointing noise levels from your gear, the ZEDi-10FX could be a refreshing change.

Solid EQ:

The EQ on this mixer is reliable and offers good performance – another solid reason to consider this particular model.

Multitracking via 4-track USB Out:

This functionality allows for multitracking. In case you require such a feature, the inclusion here should come as good news.

However, keep in mind that while there's much to appreciate about this mixer, it does have its drawbacks. For instance:

• There are no per-track mute buttons or faders – features which many users find crucial for their work.

• More advanced routing can be challenging due to design choices regarding aux send and fx send.

• The main outs are XLR but lack TRS main outs.

Despite these cons, if you're seeking superior sound quality with a sturdy build, then consider investing in this equipment.

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is also one of the best studio mixers on the market today and appears in our top 10 selection.

Who The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX

PreSonus StudioLive AR8c: Ideal for Semi-Professional Musicians

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c mixer is designed primarily for semi-professional musicians, audio engineers and anyone who places significant value on the versatility of features.

While it comes with a steeper price tag, it offers some unique attributes like SD recording and Bluetooth capabilities – features that may not be found in cheaper alternatives.

Multi-Track Software & Preamps

For those dabbling in multi-track recording, you will appreciate the complimentary software that accompanies this unit.

However, users should anticipate the need to crank up the trim to accommodate less sensitive microphones, as some have noted the preamps don't provide substantial gain.

SD Recording & Outputs

If you're looking forward to utilizing the SD card for recording purposes, be aware there's no display showing details about your recordings.

A minor setback for some perhaps but likely not a dealbreaker for everyone.

The unit lacks unbalanced output as well which could be useful depending on your setup, however this is offset by other nice input/output options.

Potential Drawbacks

There have been some reports of reliability issues with previous Presonus models alongside less than satisfactory customer service experiences.

It's something to weigh up if you value longevity and customer support responsiveness in your purchases.

Limited Functionality & Customer Support

This unit may not function optimally 100% of the time as per user experiences so be prepared for potential inconsistency when used both live and during recording sessions.

If complications do arise with this device or software (such as Ampire), you might face challenges in receiving timely support from PreSonus' customer service due to high call volumes.

Keep these considerations in mind while deciding if PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is the right fit for your needs – every musician or audio engineer has their own unique set of requirements and priorities when choosing equipment.

If the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX and PreSonus StudioLive AR8c don't seem to fit your music production needs, no worries at all!

I have compared a bunch of similar products in my other posts, which you might find helpful.

If you are considering other options, I suggest you take a look at my posts on Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer, Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs Behringer Xenyx 802, Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs Mackie ProFXv3 Series or the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs Tascam Model 12.

Each comparison breaks down the pros and cons of each mixer to help you decide which one is right for your studio setup.


What makes Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX a good choice for home recording studios?

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX mixer is an excellent option for home recording studios because of its high-quality 4×4 USB interface and four mic preamps. This combination allows you to record your performances or podcasts efficiently. Moreover, this mixer can record and playback 24-bit/96kHz audio by connecting to your computer or iOS device, offering robustness of an analog mixer with digital convenience.

Why might the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c be more suitable if I require extra features like onboard FX?

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c offers a range of extended features that make it suitable if you are looking for functionality beyond basic mixing. It provides an onboard SD recorder, effects send functions, and a USB Type-C plug-in. These features add to versatility making it applicable for various activities such as podcasting, streaming on YouTube besides acting as a mixer and USB interface.

In terms of affordability which one is the better choice among these two mixers?

According to available price information, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Mixer comes at around $399.99, while the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Hybrid Mixer costs about $499.99. So if budget is a major constraint then the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX might be more affordable.

If I’m looking for compact design with excellent build quality which one should I prefer?

If compact design with superior build quality are key parameters in your choice then PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, known for its condensed design that provides exceptional construction quality at great value would be recommended.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying Speakers

1. Determine the Purpose of Your Monitor Speakers

Monitor speakers play an integral role in your home studio. Are they intended for music production, podcasting, or something more?

If you're planning on using a mixing console, an audio interface, or doing any USB recording, these factors will drastically impact the kind of monitor speakers you should be considering.

2. Check for Compatibility with Your Current Setup

Whether you use an old school analog mixer, a modern digital mixer, or direct to computer recording methods, it's crucial that your new monitor speakers are fully compatible with your current setup.

Additionally, remember to check the type of connections your sound devices offer – are there XLR inputs? RCA? TRS?

3. Consider the Size and Power of The Monitor Speakers.

Size does matter when it comes to these devices! The size and power output of your monitor speakers should be appropriate for your room size.

A larger speaker doesn't always equate to better sound quality – especially if what you're after is precision and accuracy rather than sheer loudness.

4. Look at Reviews from Other Users

Always make sure you take into account reviews from other users that have similar uses as yours before purchasing any pair of monitor speakers online.

For instance, if live sound mixing is your primary focus, then heed advice from those who bought their monitors specifically for that purpose.

5. Think About Speaker Placement

Your studio space also dictates what type and size of monitors will work best for you – especially when it comes to fine-tuning audio through DAW integration.

Take note that some models perform best when placed a certain distance away from walls, while others have different ideal placement recommendations.

6. Examine the Features

Does the model come with a built-in effects processor? Does it provide phantom power supply which might come in handy for certain microphones or DI units?

These features might not seem essential initially but can prove extremely useful down the track depending on how you plan to use them in conjunction with other gear.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle